The Objectives and Key Results (OKR) technique is a tool for management, focus, and alignment. As with any tool, there are many ways to use it. Here are the critical points for you to keep in mind when using the tool for product teams in product organizations.
- Objectives should be qualitative; key results need to be quantitative/measurable.
- Key results should be a measure of business results, not output or tasks.
- The rest of the company will use OKRs a bit differently, but for the product management, design, and technology organization, focus on the organization's objectives and the objectives for each product team, which are designed to roll up and achieve the organization's objectives. Don't let personal objectives or functional team objectives dilute or confuse the focus.
- Find a good cadence for your organization (typically, annually for an organization's objectives and quarterly for a team's objectives).
- Keep the number of objectives and key results for the organization and for each team small (one to three objectives, with one to three key results each is typical).
- It's critical that every product team track their active progress against their objectives (which is typically weekly).
- The objectives do not need to cover every little thing the team does, but they should cover what the team needs to accomplish.
- It's important that, one way or another, teams feel accountable ...